Peru: Severe Cold and Snowstorms OCHA Situation Report No. 2

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2004/105
OCHA Situation Report No. 2
Peru - Severe Cold and Snowstorms
17 July 2004

1. On Friday 16 July, the Government of Peru, through its Permanent Mission to the United Nations at Geneva, requested OCHA to mobilize international support.


2. Damage caused by intense cold weather and snowstorms is increasingly rising. Although in different circumstances the present situation could have been considered as a temporary emergency, most of the affected areas are the same as those affected by the flooding and drought the preceding months, thus having a longer-term impact on the situation of the population. Another cold front has been forecast by the National Service of Hydrology and Meteorology of Peru (SENAMHI) the following 4 days.

3. The Government has now officially declared the State of Emergency in eight Departments (Apurima, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Cuzco, Huancavelica, Moquegua, Puno and Tacna). According to recent reports from the National Institute of Civil Defence (16/7/2004) the number of provinces affected by the severe cold and snowstorms has risen from 41 to 44.

4. The number of people affected has risen from 85,000 to 158,836. There is no further information about deceased although the cumulated number of dead reported by hospitals of the Ministry of health in the departments affected has reached 46. Regarding houses, 3,082 have been destroyed.

5. Agriculture has been severely affected. 300,000 hectares of food crops have been destroyed and 347,000 hectares have been affected. There have also been important losses in cattle (mostly in llama and alpaca herds) which are the main food sources in the highland communities. The number of reported dead cattle head has critically risen from 38,000 to 114,218 (alpacas and llamas).

6. Access to the affected areas continues to be difficult due to precarious roads conditions and to the altitude (4,000 meters above sea level). There is a concern of lack of information and possible underestimation of the impact in the main areas affected.

National Response

7. The Government has initiated the provision of food supplies, blankets, plastic rolls, tents, clothing and food for the areas affected. So far 84,000 kg of clothing and 48,000 kg food supplies have been deployed from the National Institute of Civil Defence Emergency Storehouses in the Departments Affected. 46,000 Kg of food supplies have been distributed by the National Programme of Food Support (PRONAA) in 24 provinces (in a total of 56 districts).

International Response

8. OCHA has made an emergency grant of USD 25,000 and has also made a second grant of USD 25,000 from prepositioned Danish funds.

9. Following a field assessment mission, WFP is ready to mobilize USD 200,000 in support of the affected population.

10. UNICEF has provided through the Ministry of Health 2,000 warm clothing and blankets for children under one year, 500 heavy clothes to the UNICEF Office in Apurimac, and has pre-positioned 2,500 medical treatments kits for pneumonia in Lima, which could be used in case the situation worsens in the next days.

11. Swiss Cooperation has signed an Agreement with the Regional Government of Cuzco in order to supply USD 20,000 of veterinary medicines.

12. United Nations Disaster Management Team has requested United Nations Emergency Technical Team (UNETE) to carry out a joint assessment in two of the areas affected to identify urgent needs and possible areas of cooperation.

13. The source of this situation report is the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator and the Permanent Mission of Peru. OCHA remains in close contact with the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Lima and will revert with further information as it becomes available.

This situation report, together with further information on other ongoing emergencies is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers:

Ms. Isabel Garcia-Gill
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 1618

Press contact:
(GVA) Ms. M. Moulin-Acevedo, direct Tel. +41-22-917 3160
(N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker, direct Tel. +1-917-367 51 26


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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